Sunday, March 30, 2008

Before and After

Me at 21 stone (294lbs or 134 kg) and 45.
Me at 13 stone ( 182 lbs or 83 kgs) aged 49.

I also do not smoke now. Hand knitting, especially socks because they are easily portable has been my life saver. On the phone? I pick up my sock. Feeling peckish? I pick up my sock. In pain? I pick up my sock. In fact I don't often put it down. Even when I drive, I often think to myself, I need to stop for a knit.....well it beats smoking and eating.

(Of course the socks only help me stay on plan-it was years of therapy and self improvement and determination that really got me here.)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Latina Boy

Latin music, especially the Spanish Guitar, fills me with emotion. It makes me feel - I am not sure how to express it - I want to cry when I hear it but at the same time it makes me feel good.

I was wondering why. It has occurred to me that for 6months when I was 12 I lived in a Latin country, minus my father and no other bullies or paedophiles around. I was happy for those six months. I seem to recall my days just spent swimming in the beautiful clear sea and playing in the sunshine. All to a Latin music background.

I don't think it is just that. I have a love hate thing going with all things Latin. I feel Latina are my people. Yet at the same time I do not fit in with them at all. I don't speak the language for a start except with my hands! (My mother chose not to teach us her native Latin tongue.) Yes, I talk with my hands. I have the passion too. Here in England people are likely to think I am upset or angry when all I am is excited! It always puzzled me until John and I drove to Barcelona (1000 miles plus in 2002 - my first euro road trip). In a restaurant, I looked around and could see that everyone was fighting! At least I realised that to a non Latin or UK person, the people did look like they were fighting, hands flying, strong facial expression, loud voices. But no one was fighting. It was normal Latin passion.

I have no roots. I don't come from anywhere. I was born in 58. By 71 I had lived in 5 different countries and visited countless others. By 85 I had lived in 33 different homes. I had been to so many schools I have lost count.

I saw so many different peoples, customs, exciting and exotic places. I also was in a constant state of loss and nowhere or no time or no how to grieve. Always moving, nothing was permanent. With all my childhood friends I knew how it would end before it started-with loss. I knew it was temporary. Yet I couldn't help myself. I couldn't stop myself getting close. And I couldn't say no to predators. I needed the comfort. The approval. The love. I was a child and didn't know it wasn't love. I just knew it wasn't fists or derision so it must be love. I was an easy target-be nice to me, don't scare me or hurt me, and I will respond the way you want me to.

Predators exist in all countries-at least the ones I was in. Yes, I was abused in five different countries and 3 different continents. How about that.

When I recall those countries, I recall the excitement, the smells, the exoticness, the winters, the tropical suns, the pungent food, the cakes, the dryness, the heat, the jet liners, the long haul flights. They are what I recall first. I recall the other stuff later. I do know what country I was in and what year by whatever trauma I experienced there and then.

Building good memories, which I started in 97 but didn't really get off the ground until 02, when we made out first road trip on the Continent (I had gone on my own on a 2 week road trip in 97 to New England and Canada). Now I automatically think of those trips we have made, or I have made, in 02, 03, 04 until this year. And now when I think of Xmas I think of Xmas 07-good memories of Xmas which I made myself. I can't forget the dark years but I have made, and will continue to make, light years with which to build good memories that I can recall with pleasure whenever I wish to.

Yes I live in light years now, casting a shadow with my past. But that shadow didn't exist when it was all dark. Today my days are coloured and have light and shade. I remember the last few years and my memories are in colour. Further back and it is dark and dank and lifeless, like looking into the never ending depth of a hole in the ground. The suffocating, filthy aloneness of a hole deep, deep, down. With a foot hold for me to find and haul my way out.

I found it and I did climb out.

Slowing Down

The price of fuel has gone up very much now. I can't not drive so I have been driving more slowly. I drive at a steady 40 to the pool instead of 70. It adds only 4 mins to the trip but I get 64mph instead of 46! (my car tells me how much I use).

More importantly, this driving more slowly made me realise that I am always in a hurry and I have no need to be. I do everything as if I am late or have a deadline or if there is not going to a tomorrow. This helps to make me more tense than I would otherwise be. (the aching and pain make me tense).

I also realised that there is no hurry to knit up my sock yarn. I have been eyeing it, and I have enough to knit a pair every week for the next 3 years. So what? Why do I need to knit it up more quickly? What is the rush?

I think this ties in with the hypervigilance. Not only am I always on high alert, constantly monitoring myself and my world for hazard and danger but I am also always hurrying! I bath a dog and I bath it as quickly as I can. Why? I type on my blog and I do that as quickly as I can. Strangely, I do not knit as fast as I could. I am more steady with that probably because I am moire interested in doing a good job. However, my overall attitude is one of 'get it done'.

This of course just adds on pressure. I know where this need to hurry stems from but it isn't necessary now. I am a grown up and I have no one screaming at me to hurry.

This is a habit that will take a while to break I would think. I already feel the benefits of slowing down though in just the last couple of days. Strange how the need to conserve fuel has also brought my own need to slow down to my attention.

I may have mentioned before that one of manifestations of my OCD is to check things over and over. It used to be so bad I didn't go out cos it wasn't worth it. The major way I deal with it is to leave my home slowly. I check that the gas is off and I say so to myself, then the back door, the telly, whatever I have to do, I do it consciously and say so out loud to myself. I can then leave and get into my car. If I get that awful pull in my gut to go back and check, I can mostly just say-NO! Everything is fine you have checked. It's safe to leave. Not being perfect, drats, I do sometimes have to go back and check all over again but it is nothing like it used to be.

When I think about it, I have overcome rather a lot in my life. Anorexia, bulimia, agoraphobia, OCD, smoking, self harming, to name just a few.

I am beginning to allow myself to enjoy what I have - today. To believe I am allowed to experience pleasure and enjoy it. To laugh does not mean it will end in tears as I was taught. That pleasure does not equal sin as I was taught. That all I care for and love will not be snatched away from me as my growing up experience taught me.

I do know that all things, good and bad, come to pass, not to stay, That is why i really do live within the day. It is an ingrained habit now. I never even think about tomorrow -at least not consciously.

Now I just need to get this slowing down lark settled well in .......

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Unity TLL

My new socks, UNITY TLL. Knitted using yarn I bought at Globus near my friends, Lia and Lui in Sandhausen, Germany. It cost €1 a 50 gram ball, about 80 pence or $1.60.

I knit them both at once on Hiya Hiya and Addi 2mm needles. Magic loop but each on it's own needle. It's quicker than both on the same needle. The pattern is a simple knit and purl triangle.
I used my own Andersson Heel, Mach 2.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Good, The Bad and The Disagraceful

Shameless has come into season at last. I am not certain which male I will use yet, but think it might me Lui's father. Neither Micah (her dad) or Lui (too young) will be happy!

Swimming went well today. It is still cold here and wet this morning.

I will be posting pictures of the new socks later today. Almost done now. A fine gauge Merino sweater is almost done too-just need to attach the collar and then sew it up. It's a machine knit.

Workmen had parked across the disabled parking bays at the pool. Really it does P me off that able bodied people just pay lip service to disability care. As soon as it is inconvenient for an able bodied person, out goes the consideration for the disabled. The discrimination rampant in this country is appalling. You could not by law treat a person of colour or a gay person like this but if you are disabled, well tough, you will get treated anyway we please and with immunity from the law. No one really gives a toss about it. Especially he supermarkets. Only ASDA now will fine people who park in the disabled bays and it has made a difference-I can park when I get there!

Tesco do not care about their disabled customers. Their disabled bays are taken up mostly by people without badges. Including staff members. When the manger was asked why they did nothing, the reply was they didn't want to upset thier customers. The able bodied ones of course.

Speaking of Tesco, there is an appalling and dangerous situation going on with their ice cream. 15 days ago, I was looking at one of the freezers which was displaying a new coffee ice cream from Italy, made with real beans. I went to get one only to find it was defrosted. I then found ALL of the ice cream in that freezer was defrosted. I told a staff member who thanked me. A few days later, same freezer, same defrosted ice cream. I told customer services. Another few days and same situation so I asked to see the manager, Chirs, who came along and patronised me. He explained that the number displayed on the front of said freezer was the temperature of the said freezer and it was correct and well within the law. So why is the ice cream melted I asked? You can't sell ice cream like that. You can't re freeze ic cream it is dangerous. he just repeated the same crap to me. Today, 15 days later, the said freezer is still full of defrosted ice cream.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Tongue Tied

It is a bright sunny day. As have been many of the days of this last winter so I have not had to spend too much time in front of my SAD light.

John is attending his mother's funeral today, a cremation.

I have almost finished a pair of socks, red ones with a textured pattern Will post them later.

I have been for my swim this morning which went well. I wondered if it would as this morning I found it very difficult to get out of bed. When i first tried nothing happened. So I tried again. And again. The I just laid there giggling for little while as I thought it was funny and it felt funny too. Eventually I managed to roll onto my side and fall off the bed onto all fours form where I was able to use the radiator to lever myself up onto two feet. Once I managed that I was okay. So yes, it is the turn of my hips to bother me now. My muscles and hands and back have let up for now.

I am COLD. I have got on my woolly socks, my thermal long john's and long sleeved vest, a pair of track bottoms, a cashmere/cotton roll neck and a cashmere sweater over that. The central heating is on as it always is. I am still cold. I get cold like this quite a lot, especially my legs. Now is this because I have lost so much weight? Is it because of ill health? Is it because of the drugs? One of the drugs I take keeps my pulse and blood pressure low. Even is the summer, I wear my woolly socks with my sandals! When I was younger I was always too warm!

The day before yesterday, a young man started to chat me up. I got very flustered. It took a while for me to realise that he was chatting me up. I never even think of that so it was quite a shock. I felt embarrassed and shy and couldn't wait to get away. Fortunately, other customers came into the shop and that was my cue to leave. I think I was at least 20 years older than he.

I don't know if I am more surprised that someone was interested or by my reaction to their interest. Whatever, I was taken aback at how quickly my confidence disappeared and I became tongue tied.

Monday, March 24, 2008

We Had Snow

The dogs thought the snow was great fun. They charged about and played. Millie the Dax was a little uncertain at first but soon loved it.

The Apso all had to have their undercarriages and legs bathed in warm water though as the snow formed large ice balls in their coats. I had forgotten about that! It soon became obvious when they needed to come in as they stopped playing and started to move strangely.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Gent in Belgium

We are going to Gent in Belgium on April 20th-24th. We have driven past the old cities of Brugge, Gent and Brussels so many times that we decided we'd stop there for this short trip! The look old and beautiful. Lets hope the weather is okay.

We had thought of the end of May or first week of June but can't guarantee that Shameless will not be pregnant or close to giving birth then. And besides we are off to visit with Lia and Lui (and hopefully Diana) in Germany again August 17th 24th so at least we will not be going away so close together. I have made contingency plans in case of puppies....

Lui's Big Night

Last evening I went to dog training with Lui. I had forgotten it wasn't training but a Match- i.e. a dog show.

Lui was entered as a minor puppy under 6 mths and he won his class. He then went on to beat the other winners of their puppy classes to be Best Puppy. I was both surprised and chuffed. Especially considering he didn't really behave himself.

The judge told me later that he almost gave him the reserve Best in Show and that he thought Lui was a quality puppy.

I know Lui is excellent but he is a very stubborn boy. He seems happy enough when there, wagging his tail etc but then puts the brakes on when he needs to show off. If he doesn't decide it's fun, well that will put paid to his show career - there is little point forcing the issue if he isn't happy with it. You can get a dog to do what is required but they need to enjoy it.

He will be used to mate my two girls later though. He really his a super male, very well made.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Another ******* Post

I saw the doc today. Okay, did you know that Ibuprofen, Diclofenac and other NSAIDS, in long term use, cause heart attacks, stroke and kidney failure? No? Nor me. Now I know what she meant when she warned me about them.

Now I have taken the full whack dose daily for the last 6 days and it really made a difference. Now I have to quit. I can only do this once in about 8weeks and for no more than 10-14 dyas. great.

So I feel pissed off. I ate wheat today. smart. my guts feel wonderful. I also had a fag which tasted foul. I hate the damn things now I gave them up but they still have a draw for me.

Also feel at a bit of a loss to know how to support John. he came from a loving family and I can only try to imagine how he feels about the death of the woman who gave him life and loved him an cared for him. It's outside my experiences and makes me feel weird.

Interestingly, I was with my doc when my mobile went off and I had already told her what had happened so she told me to answer it. After John and I spoke, the doc had a gooey look on her face and she sad ' you two really take care of each other don't you? It's so romantic.' I didn't know what to say but thought well we are a couple and have been for almost 27 yrs and of course we watch out for each other, doesn't every couple? Seems not.

Sad for John and uncomfortable with feeling like I am not sure how to be there. Annoyed with myself for making my gut hurt cos of eating the wrong thing, and having the fag, especially when I had given myself permission to not swim today. I knew I needed to rest. So I swam 3 days in a row and did the mile each time, the 4th day i did two thirds if a mile and none today. I shall swim a mile tomorrow and probably follow this routine as it seems to have worked.

Oh but I forgot-no NSAIDS. I am told to dose up on my cocodomol (paracetamol and codeine) and if that isn't enough, the Tramadol(which I have never taken). It seems the only way to go for now is progressively stronger meds as my disease progresses until I am on a morphine patch. Well fF**k that, I think I shall just do what I have done mostly and put up with it.

The part that really bothers me now is that my hands hurt most of the time. Thankfully the doc still thinks that that more I use them the more they will last, so she thinks knitting is good. The fingers are a little more bent now but still mildly so. The knuckles are prominent. Oh and she called my condition poly something or other which I think just means widespread arthritis or in layman's terms - totally f**cked.

I told a woman in church the other night that I had TFS when she asked what was wrong with me. When she asked what what TFS was I told her it was Totally F**cked Syndrome. It amused me - and her when she recovered from the unexpected reply.

Food For Thought?

I did a talk and demonstration last night. The evidence received and given was accepted apart from one.

The one that wasn't accepted was this: I described a very frail very old lady who was not in her mind when she died. She was very very tired. She was about 93-94 yrs upon passing. She said she was glad to go because she was the last one, her friends and relatives of the same generation had all gone. She mentioned a family who had had to leave National Service due to ill health and another who left the services due to what we would now call PTSD.

Although the man who stuck his hand up to claim the woman said he recognised her, maybe, he couldn't understand the rest of the message.

I wasn't happy and we agreed to end that communication.

Early this morning my phone rang. It was a person from John's work to tell him that his sister had tried calling because his mother had died. I called John immediately, having just got back from taking him to the train station. His damned mobile was off(that really annoys me). By the time he did call, I had decided just to tell him to call home. He did and his sister told him.

Later when he called me, it dawned on me what may have happened the night before at my dem. So I told all to John. His uncle was invalided out of the service because of PTSD and John's cousin had to forego National Service and leave because of surgery. She was also the last surviving member of her generation. She also was not in her mind on two counts-she had Alzheimer's (happy Alzheimer's thank God)and she was in a coma.

Interestingly, his mother was not dead at the time of my dem but she was in a coma. She had a stroke Saturday evening and did not regain consciousness at all until being pronounced dead early this morning.....

Mad Men

I have now seen 3 episodes of this and I think I like it.

Let me say right off that I think the lead, Donald Draper(Jon Hamm) is very attractive.

What appals me about this is the way the children women are treated. I know it's the Sixties. No wonder Women's Lib took off! really, those men need a good kicking. And this without mentioning the racism and anti Jewish thing. ( didn't say anti Semite cos Jews are not the only Semites). My friend said to me that when she was a young woman in the 60's date rape was so common it was expected. I have no doubt now. It's a shame no one has ever seriously taken up the plight of children.

It seems to be an excellent show though as yet I haven't comes across likeable people although in this 3rd episode, two women are coming to the fore as likeable.

Why are so many programs today made with no characters to like and care about? Have we really become this cynical? Or have program makers forgotten we need to like/sympathise/empathise etc with characters for something to be popular?

Perhaps I am wrong and we don't to need to like the characters anymore, judging from what is popular....

Saturday, March 15, 2008

This n That

I have swum my mile every morning this last 3 mornings without fatigue or too much pain. I have also been taking more drugs for the last 5 days. The first three I took 1200mg Ibuprofen a day along with 20mg Protium (for stomach acid). well, by day 3 I was having acid attacks. So I have switched to taking 150mg Diclofenac a day plus the Protium. No acid so far today. The Diclofenac is enteric coated. Hopefully this will make the difference. Anyhow, it would seem that one needs to take anti inflammatories over a period of time if they are to do their job. It doesn't mean daily forever, but for 5-7 days at a time. I shall see what happens over the next few days.

I find it offensive that people who don't know me or my family presume to know what my family thought or felt! The amount of people who say 'oh, they didn't know how to love you' or 'they did their best' or 'of course they loved you, they are your parents'.

It seems to me that these people cannot face the fact that there are parents and siblings who do not love their offspring or siblings and who actively hate them and harm them. Harm by accident or ignorance is one thing, deliberate, systematic abuse is another and is in no way love or an inability to love. It is conscious choice to use the object of the abuse as a whipping boy or girl, for the relief of their own pain.

This denial of my own reality is one of the reasons help was so hard to find. It was bad enough that I'd get thumped in the face or knocked into walls one day and told the next it never happened without others questioning my conclusions as to whether or not I was hated or loved!

In this country alone, 2 children a week are killed thru abuse by their parents/guardians. Don't dare tell me their killers did not know better or just 'couldn't like' their offspring!

It is only by luck I was not killed and if I had not come from an outwardly clean and respectable family, perhaps I would have been rescued long before I was so damaged. Instead, the abuse was allowed to continue because no one would accept that such well brought up children could possibly have cruel and wicked parents.

One of the reasons child abuse is so prevalent is because we let it happen. We turn a blind eye to it. We take care of our own feelings first, and because we can't face the facts, we deny them and yet another child suffers as a result. So we have adults who pay lip service to the need to protect children. They talk the talk but do not walk the walk.

And now for something completely different - food has really gone up in price! By a lot, not a little. Along with fuel - not just car fuel but house fuel-gas and electric. Car fuel is now at a whopping £1.16 for a litre of diesel. That is about £ 4.70 for a gallon (8 x 20ozs) or $ 9 per gallon(8 x 20ozs.) So I now have to think about where I go. It isn't simple. No car, no go out. I can't get anywhere without my car. Even if public transport was readily available and cheap (it is neither) it isn't accessible for me.

My eating habits have changed since I was sick those few months. I started during that time to eat fish. I ate more fish than anything else. Prior to that I was a steak, dripping with blood, man. Now I eat fish, chicken turkey and pork and no red meat. I ate a steak last night 'for a change' and did not enjoy it. Weird. Yet I now love fish. Whereas before, although I liked prawns and crabs and squid and octopus, I didn't really care for fish. Now I eat loads of it. Tuna steaks(yum), cod, Tilapia, Vietnamese River Cobbler(my fave), Cod, Haddock, Pollock, Trout, Salmon. I can't get enough of it. When we were in Germany last, I ate fish rather than rump steak mostly.

I have a demonstration to give tomorrow evening at 6.30pm. That will be fun. I always wonder what will come up. I also wonder if anything will come! It doesn't always. I have twice been in the position of having to say to the assembled people that I am sorry, but I cannot link this evening.
A lot of the energy needed for the dem comes from the people attending. If they are a miserable bunch and give nothing of themselves-i.e. are not open and warm and welcoming- they are likely to make it very hard work indeed for the medium. If I walk into a place and it's like the Tory party(Republicans) at prayer, I tend to think 'oh crumbs, I'm f***ed ' before I even start! Thank fully, it is mostly not like that and I get them warmed up and in a good mood during the talk part.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Deep Forest

Just to prove I wasn't in my PJ's.
The yarn is Opal Hand Painted Sommernachtstraum no 4. I used 2mm Hiya Hiya circular needle, knitted both at once. This is my best recipe yet, I think. I again used a different version of the Andersson Heel. I like this one. I like the fit of the whole sock. it is 110 rows till heel turn and 130 rows after heel turn. Aprrox 10.5sts and 14 rows to the inch. or 42 sts and 56 rows to 10cm.(4 inches)

My Family Today

Millie, 13 weeks old today.

Micah - with his Brylcreem on and in the garden, contemplating his 2nd of 23 at Cruft's.
Shameless- couldn't care less about her 5th at Cruft's. Lets get down and dirty.
Lui-probably the best I have ever been over. Now 5mths and stubborn little trucker who may never point if they don't like it. He will make a good stud though. He has been humping since birth almost!
Whitney-what can I say? She knows she is the bees knees.
The voice-making sure she has your attention.
Nechung-10 years old. mum to Micah and grandmother to Shameless. Nothing to Lui altho Micah is his Uncle and Shameless is his Aunty. Nechung hailed from France-haughty and stubborn. Typical Apso.

Bananas and Hot Dogs

I am reminded of two more messages where seemingly stupid things meant so much.

One was a man communicating with his daughter. He gave all sorts of things about himself, his life, the life of the recipient of the message etc. Whilst I was listening and speaking what I heard or sensed, I kept seeing bananas. This was many years ago when I did not have the confidence I have now. I finally told the woman what i was seeing. She smiled and said her father had been a well known banana importer.....

This one only occurred a few years ago: a young man killed in a car was communicating thru me to his sister. He again said all sorts of things which his sister said were true. The young man was really quite cheeky and the things he showed me and told me were well within his character. However, whilst he was communicating, I kept seeing a Hot Dog. I was really reluctant to take any notice because of the young man's character-I juts assumed he was being cheeky. As the communication ended and I was about to receive a different message and messenger, I heard myself say 'He keeps showing me a Hot Dog. ' She responded by saying that he owned a Hot Dog stand and that was how he earned his living. If I recall correctly, he was killed while towing it.

I remember these messages because I messed them up, or almost did. They were lessons for me.

Some messages I recall because the recipient was dim to say the least! Many of them are.

The communication was going well. The recipient was accepting of most of what I said apart from one thing: He kept showing me a newsagent shop. She rejected it and said she couldn't understand why. It was so clear to me, but I left it alone. The man though was persistent and eventually I was forced to repeat the question 'did she understand why he was showing me a newsagents?' Her response, again, was no.

Well, I knew something was wrong so I tried a different tack. Okay, do you know if he worked in one? No she said. Did he ever have anything to do with one? No she said. I was getting flustered as the communicator refused to let it drop but the woman clearly didn't know about the newsagents. I decided to end the communication and apologised to the communicator. Just as I left the woman to speak to someone else, she piped and said 'his flat was on top of a newsagent but I don't know why he would say that.'!!!!!!!

This person clearly did not know the purpose of mediumship!

As well as providing healing, it's purpose is to give evidence of our survival after physical death. So communicators tell us stuff about themselves that we know to be true as a means of identifying themselves and also of giving the recipient some food for thought. If a total stranger gives you intimate details of a person you knew who had died, well, it ought to make you think. Yes?

I hasten to add here that I am not in the business of converting anyone to any belief system(I don't follow one myself) nor is it my job to convince anyone that we survive death. It is only my job to fulfil my purpose - which is to pass on what I see, hear and sense to those that wish to receive it. It is not my job to worry about what they do with it. When I go to do my thing, I do the best I can do and leave it behind me when I leave. How the audience perceive it is up to them. I make no claims.

Unfortunately many in my position claim to know God, know God's purpose, know your purpose and in fact know almost everything! Bollocks! Mediumship does not give one a direct line to God or to knowledge. One doesn't even have to be a good person or a spiritually inclined person. Mediums are ordinary people and those that tell you different are either gullible(if they are not mediums) or on an ego trip(if they are mediums).

Mediumship is an ability, maybe a gift, but it is not bestowed only upon saints! In fact I have never met anyone with the ability who even comes close to sainthood, though have met some who are true 'lights' in this world.

It is not an ability I sought out. I was ignorant of it completely. Knew nothing about it. Yet I was a natural medium and didn't know it. When I did know it, I wanted to reject it and I tried. I prayed for it to be taken away. I ignored it, or tried to. I refused to use it. All to no avail. Of course my fundamentalist background, by abuse history and emotional health issues were all very good reasons for me to not want this. I felt weird enough, already felt alone and outside. I didn't want to be a freak too! I also couldn't imagine why on earth I would be chosen to have this ability when I was so f****d up.

Whatever, the reasons for it, I finally accepted it and use it. I know it's power for good and the healing and release it can bring. I have come to see that my life experiences add to it. I am able to sense more and understand more. It is no accident that many of the people I give messages of hope to are people who are as damaged as I was.

I feel ordinary most of the time. Occasionally, I may be driving or walking(okay hobbling) along, drying the dog or knitting and I suddenly think ' F**k!! I see dead people! WOW!' It boggles the mind. Most of the time it seems totally normal and everyday. For me it is.

Now lets see: we need a new medium here. We need someone to go work for us. Oh look, there's this bloke down there, he's frightened of his own shadow, he is anorexic/bulimic, agoraphobic, has OCD, he is grief struck, his family hate him, he is gay, he is disabled, he has manic episodes, he doesn't want to live. Other people think he is weird. I think he is just what we are looking for.

Yeah right!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A Man And His Chicken.....

One of the most astounding pieces of evidence I ever received and gave was a message from a woman's father who had passed over. I had described him accurately to her and gave his manner of death and other details. I can't recall what they were. I only remember that she was happy and convinced it was her father. The bit I do remember was the clincher: he kept showing me a chicken and ice cream lollies. I could not figure out why so I ignored him. I broke the first rule of mediumship: DO NOT INTERPRET, GIVE WHAT YOU GET. So anyway, this man was determined to be heeded so he kept sending me the image of the chicken and ice lolly. I go the hint and I gave up trying to do what I oughtn't, interpret, and just told the woman what her father was showing me. She promptly burst into tears. I knew then that this image was the clincher but I had no clue why. Her tears turned to laughter(and the church roared too) when she managed to explain that her father had a one legged chicken and he made it a false leg from ice lolly sticks.

Now, can that possibly be described as cold reading? No of course it cannot. There is this sort of accurate evidence being given daily all over the world by decent, honest and dedicated mediums.

Yes there are the charlatans, the cold readers, and the well meaning who are are just crap at it, and the arrogant who think they are good but give no evidence of survival. And yes you will come across all of these on Spiritualist platforms and in other venues. In every walk of life there are frauds and idiots and the gullible and the plain weird.

However, the evidence for survival is out there and it behoves us to seek it out rather than to just take the word of anyone.

It annoys me, to say the least, to have it poo pooed as no more than a confidence trick or a magicians trick(I cannot stand magic tricks and never have been able to-I know from the outset they are lying and tricking so what is the point?) by people who are either prejudiced before investigation or who have not bothered to investigate at all.

Over the last 30 years both John and I have witnessed many demonstrations of mediumship. We heard a lot of crap. We have heard stuff that made us cringe with embarrassment. Heard stuff that made us angry. Have seen and heard the fools. And, yes, if that was all, then we would have dismissed it like so many others have. However, we really did put the effort in and attended many meetings. We have found genuine accurate mediums whose messages have been full of healing and love and above all accuracy and they cannot be explained away with a trite call of 'fraud!' or accusations of cold reading.

Just like the man and his one legged chicken.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Sorting It Out

It may seem it's taking a long time and it is. I am still trying to figure out the best way to deal with my health issues.

Last evening I went to a meeting. As I sat there, knitting, I came to realise how much pain I was in and just how exhausted I felt. I didn't do much knitting as my hands really hurt, as they do now, but not as much,

I think I became so aware of myself because I had stopped and relaxed.

Yesterday morning at the pool I had great difficulty doing my swim. It wasn't painful as it often is but I just was very weak. I stopped after 20 laps to rest at the side and then continued, sure that I couldn't, but yes, I did 50 laps eventually and then got out. I didn't mange my normal mile. John, the guard who helped me out, said he hadn't seen me having so much trouble before and asked if I was okay. yes, I replied I just feel weak.

Clearly I have trouble knowing when to rest and when to push myself to prevent myself being lazy. I have also come to understand a bit more about my drugs. The anti inflammatories are meant to be taken for a period of time, not just popping one here and there. If I take them at regular intervals over a period of days, it will help the inflammation. So I have been misusing them. Duh!

The thing that really worries me is the pain in my hands. I cannot even think I might not be able to knit. I am thinking that maybe I need to up the size of sock needles from 2mm back to 2.25 or even 2.5mm.

I think I must be having a flare. I hope that is all it is because I don't want this to be it forever. Meaning the tiredness. The pain I can deal with. The tiredness prevents me doing what I want. Okay so it's 5 days since Cruft's now. I rested all of Saturday and began swimming again Sunday. Only yesterday did I bath 2 dogs and swim and go to the meeting. Monday I did very little other than swim.

The reason I think I must be having a flare is this: I swam a mile a day for ages, even during my dark night of the soul period, and did not feel like this. I am 45lbs lighter now. I am eating more now. So I find it hard to believe that it is the swimming itself that is causing the exhaustion and pain. As my disease has bad periods and good periods, I just think this is a bad period and I need to deal with it.

I have a really hard time knowing when to take care of me and rest and when to push myself and not allow myself to idle. I argue with myself constantly. Like yesterday in the pool, I argued with myself the whole time until I eventually stopped at 50, already exhausted, but knowing I wouldn't feel guilty for stopping, at least not for long!

So you see, no matter how a far along the road one thinks one is, there are still issues to be understood and dealt with!

I know who that voice belongs to, the one that calls me a lazy good for nothing wimp. I do tell them to f***k off but.....well I am not always successful or even aware that it is that voice and not just me being weak and lazy.

Oh and yes, I am fully aware, now that I have written it down, that this weak and lazy business is an issue for me!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Ministering To The Dying

A number of years ago now, I was asked if I would go and see a woman who was dying. She knew she was dying. After giving it some thought, I agreed to see her even though I had never ministered to anyone who was dying before. I was nervous to say the least.

I arrived at her home and was taken to her bedroom, where she lay in her bed. We were introduced. I felt as if the room was crowded so knew that spirit were with us. I asked the people who were there with us physically to leave the room so I could talk in private.

The feeling of the presence of spirit grew stronger and I soon began to receive images and words. i described a man to the dying woman, his physical attributes and also the fact that he was telling me that he had a love of music, especially of the piano and that he taught. The woman recognised this as a description of her father. I was then able to discern the presence of a woman. I gave details about her and described her and the dying woman told me this was her mother. I was able to sense the presence of another woman. I became confused because this second woman said that she was the dying woman's mother. I spoke of my confusion. The dying woman smiled and told me that she had been adopted.

The room was literally full of spirit and the feeling was one of peace and calm and love. I told the dying woman that her loved ones told me that they would be there when it was time to take her to her new home. She asked me when this would be. I was flummoxed as I was not expecting to be asked this. I found myself telling her that her what her father impressed upon me: that they would be back for her on the Saturday morning.

She smiled with relief and joy. She died on the Saturday morning.

Wet and Windy

The weather, not my IBS. It hasn't been too bad here but in parts of the UK it has been strong enough to knock down trees and stuff. So other than my swim, I have done nothing but watch Footballer's Wives and knit.

I slept well last night and had no pain to disturb my beauty sleep. I am wondering if this is because I took anti -inflammatories yesterday. I also have taken them twice so far today. I took the first dose before my swim and my swim was very much easier and not painful. Co-incidence or not I don't know. I shall see tomorrow.

I am in the process of knitting a sweater on the fine gauge machine. I am using 6 strands of a 2/60 merino high micron fibre. It feels lovely.

When I knit the first sleeve it seemed very long so I measured it and it was 12cms longer than I intended. Although I could not see how, I was convinced I had made an error in my calculation of the gauge. I washed the sleeve and left it to dry overnight. It is now the size I intended. Mmm...I didn't expect that as I only washed the swatch and the sleeve in washing up liquid and in cool water. It hasn't felted and the final handle is perfect. For some reason the unwashed knitting is distorted somewhat.

I have almost finished a pair of socks. Both knitted at the same time on one needle until I get to the ankle and then I separate and knit each on their own needle. It is taking me longer because of the pain in my hands.

Sunday, March 09, 2008


Me showing Micah.

Karen from Denmark.
Linda from Hartlepool.
Debbie from Hartlepool.
Elaine and hubby from Chester.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Wonderful Day Times Two

My friends arrived at 9am. We had a good day just catching up. In bed by 7.30pm.

Our day started at 2am. We got up and did what we had to do with the dogs and ourselves. We left by 4am and were at the N.E.C. by 5.30am. We unloaded the car, put the dogs in the show trolley and all our stuff, and made the long trek from the Disabled Car Park to our hall. In typical British fashion, we could not go in by the normal route and we had to struggle another few hundred yards to the entrance they decided we must use. Still, we were at Cruft's so we just got on with it.

We got in, set up and sat down to gather ourselves again, drinking coffee and looking around.

We were very surprised and pleased to find that our friends, Laurent and Francois from France and Frauke from Germany were also there. This on top of seeing my other friends was a real bonus.

Time to show. Now I fully expected to not do well here and was just there because of Karen and Gitte from Denmark staying with me. I could hardly not go!

I went into my first class with Micah. There were 20 of us. She pulled me out along with others and when I looked down the line I realised that she had only pulled out 5 so Micah was at least going to be placed. Much to my surprise and pleasure, she placed Micah 2nd.

My next class was with Shameless. Now Shameless is a little tall for my liking and by this time I realised that the judge preferred smaller too. However, Shameless is a real show off, loves to move around the ring, eyeing the crowd and posing. She is also well made. Anyway, the judge gave her 5th, with the 4 in front all being shorter in height.

I was very pleased to say the least with my dogs' placings.

The breeder of Micah's father won Best Bitch with her girl and this made her a Champion. She burst into tears. I, along with others, was very pleased for her.

The following day, Friday, John and I took Karne and Gitte into Peterborough for shopping. Shopping is always good fun though Karen and Gitte were appalled by the poor service we received everywhere but Cafe Nero, who provide very good service. I had previously told Karen how awful service in this country was and now she knows I was not exaggerating. Even John Lewis was appalling.

Of course all this has left me exhausted and sore but it was all in a good cause.

The trouble I have with my ribcage at night is back with a vengeance, four nights in a row now. I found a solution last night which may work again: I got up and sorted the pillows out and added the v -s shaped pillow, so that I was lying with my top half propped up. This stopped the pain immediately and I was able to get more sleep.

My next dog show will be in April and then they are every month thru till November.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Better Day

Well, my fiends showed up at 9am and caught me by surprise. We are all done now, dogs bathed and groomed. We have done the shopping we needed to. Are relaxing now and will eat soon. Then off to bed by 7.30pm as we are up at 2am. Hopefully we shall arrive at the NEC by 5.45am.

Not A Good Start......

Okay, so it's just as well no one is around here yet. I awoke with the hump. I had a bad night pain wise. Yes those spasms the new drug is supposed to stop.

The house smells lovely as I have a chicken casserole in the slow cooker (crockpot) going since before I went to bed and it will stay there until we eat later.

I am about to start bathing Micah and Shameless. Hopefully, I'll be in better mood shortly! I am sure I will when be by the time my friends get here. I have not seen Karen since we were at her house back in August 06. I feel really comfortable with her and her husband Kim. There house feels like home. I usually go to the loo as soon as I get there because I have relaxed enough to be able to! Yes, it's a running joke-I don't poo away from home so do so at their house is a compliment!

I had another dental appointment yesterday and the the woman who dealt with me was really very nice. It was one of those fortuitous moments. She is training to be a therapist and was talking about how she was learning about the effects of abuse....coincidence you think?

The sun is very bright, it is a beautiful day, it is very cold. Just the sort of day I like. I hate in between days, neither hot not cold because it usually means it is dull and rainy.

Well, get a coffee and get a dog wet....see you after Cruft's. Ick help!


Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Listening To My Body Talk

I think I am figuring it out. I awoke at 6am in order to get ready to go to the pool. I felt as if a truck had hit me. I knew it would not be laziness if I went back to bed and decided not to swim. That is precisely what I did. What I thought was another 10 minutes napping was in fact an hour and a half.

Now that I am up and have fed the three puppies, I know I made the right choice. I am aching all over. Today, I have two dogs to bath and the two who are going to Cruft's get done tomorrow. My friends arrive tomorrow.

I won't now be able to attend the pool until Saturday. It appears though that three days on and 1 off is the way to go. At least it seems I have figured that out. Better than pushing myself until I am useless.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Busy Week

This week is going to be busy.

I have Karen and Gita arriving from Denmark on Wednesday. We will be showing our dogs at Cruft's on Thursday.

Today I go to see the hypnotherapist again.

The swimming is going all right again. I did a mile Saturday and Sunday and today. I shall tomorrow too. I am not feeling fatigued. But not on Wed, Thurs or Fri due to Cruft's.

I have never exhibited at Cruft's despite qualifying 8 different dogs. It is a very crowded event as the public go to it in droves. I am only going because my friends are coming from Denmark.

Oh and I am maintaining my weight at 13st3lbs (185lbs/ 84kg) I want to lose another stone (14lbs / 6.3kg).

I have ideas for some machine knits. I think I shall and flog them on Etsy-give that another go. I am also thinking maybe I ought to bite the bullet and start to sell off some of my yarn stock and machinery....scary!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Supermodel Me

This is my first ever hand knitted sweater, circa 2004. Up till then, I had only hand knit scarves and swatches and half sweaters. This was made up as I went along. It has set in sleeves. It was knitted using 5mm needles and Rowan Summer Tweed. I hated it for fit but now I have lost weight I love it. Glad I didn't dump it.
I just finished this. It is 100% Cashmere, set in sleeves, knitted on my fine gauge machine, a Silver Reed 830. 37sts and 61 rows to 10cms(4") after washing and tumble drying.
I hand knit this on 4.5mm needles, using drops Alpaca, double stranded. Disappointed that it sheds but otherwise pleased with it.
This is my second hand knit. Using Rowan Polar, I think. It was knitted on 8mm needles. Feels lovely.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Mulling It Over

I had a day off yesterday and went and swum my mile today and still came back exhausted and needing to sleep.

I have thought of either doing it every other day, or still every day and cutting down to 40 lengths instead of 64.

I have been doing the mile a day for many months now, and did so during my hard time, with no problems, so I am fairly convinced I am going through a flare now. I am tired all the time and aching everywhere and sleeping a couple of hours in the arvo and still sleeping without waking during the night.

Now there is the school of thought, from the health professionals, that one should continue to exercise anyway. Mmmm, I am not sure.

I need to do other things, like walk the dogs and bath and groom them. I also like to go to my meetings. I can't do this if I am too tired. I still slept in the arvo yesterday and at night but did feel better for not swimming and also got dog stuff done.

I was surprised that swimming today made me feel so crap. Oh, and I did wonder if not eating carbs was not helping so on Tuesday, I ate plenty and still found the swimming painful and hard going so it isn't that. i didn't think ti would be since I rarely eat carbs anyway and usually feel more energetic for it. Starch/sugar and such makes me lethargic and bad tempered and hungry.

Today I think has more or less confirmed I am having a flare. It makes sense when prior to this last week or so, I have had more pain. It has abated somewhat and now I just feel tired and ache all over.

About Face

The implication of a lot of therapy type books, especially 12 step based ones, is that those of us with problems have something innately wrong with our brain, that we are somehow wired to think in a detrimental way.

I have discovered that this is bollocks!

For most of my life I believed there was something wrong with me, something abnormal about my brain or just me in general. Unfortunately, this was reinforced by most of the people I came across.

There are many people out there playing with the minds of vulnerable people, such as I was, and damaging them further. There are many people who think they know it all when they know f**k all. They compound the damage already suffered by the damaged.

I was an easy target. I believed I was wrong. I believed I was bad. I believed most of what I was told because I was wired to. It was easy for me to look up to people and consider them by betters. I was in so much pain and was so desperate, I listened to them when they told me they could help me. Their help consisted of compounding the belief that I was defective.

One such person, frorm many years ago, had a profound effect on me. I looked up to her. She always sounded so well and confident. She had the answers. She said she did.

She led me up the garden path. She also hurt me deeply. One day she suddenly, with no explanation, stopped our friendship. This of course hurt me but more compounded my feelings of worthlessness. She had also seriously f***ed with my mind by that point. She had me believing I had all sorts of problems I didn't have and that I was the cause of my family discord and dismissed the abuse. This set me back so many years.

Of course my brain is perfectly normal and I learn well. Very well. I learned precisely what I was taught. That I was worthless, stupid, evil, incapable, would never amount to anything and had only illness and death to look forward to with eternal damnation after that. How was i supposed to feel good about anything with that as my 'program'?

Thank fully, I have overcome this now. I understand what I was taught and how it was reinforced . Reinforced by the abuse, the lack of love and later by mental health professionals who knew not what they were doing. Honestly, I have not met one mental health professional who was helpful to me, many who were abusive, some who were useless but nice.These people just compounded the damage. Just a small example, being in an Anorexic Unit where the regime for getting us well was a punishment / reward one. As if we were rats. Needless to say it helped no one and just convinced us further how worthless and bad we were if even the medical staff meant to care for us abused us. Of course, at the time, the word abuse was not thought of because we didn't know that is what was happening. we were treated the way we deserved to be treated bot abused!

On the one hand I feel so lucky to be where I am now, have the life I have now. On the other, in my 50th year, I feel terribly sad and bereft at all those lost years. All because I believed what I was taught to believe - that it was all my fault. That I was treated thus because of who I was. That my family rejected me because of who I was.

NO. All that happened because of who they were.